Playa Del Carmen is quite small so it’s easy to get around by foot. A bike is provided if you would like to use it.
For day trips, you can rent a car. There are several car rental places around, and we find that it’s cheaper to go off 5th Avenue.
If you use taxi, it’s best to stay away from the ones on 5th Avenue. They tend to charge 3-4 times than the normal rate. Taxis are quite inexpensive in Playa.
Ado bus is an inexpensive ways to take day trips to Tulum, Coba, Meridad or other cities. Go to the bus station on 5th to get a schedule.
The best way to use money in PDC is by your credit card as you will get a better exchange rate. Make sure your card does not charge a fee for international transactions.
Some places only take cash so it is advisable to have some cash on hands. You can get better exchange if you use your ATM card.
AVOID the ATM machines that are located on 5th Avenue. They charge very high fees. You can do better by walking to 1oth Avenue, which is where most banks are located. The fees are lower at bank ATMs.
Playa Del Carmen is located about 45 minutes from Cancun Airport. To get here:
- If you are on a budget and don’t have a lot of luggage, Ado bus is the best way to go. Once you get out of the terminal, go to the red bus. The fee is about $10 us. It will take you to a bus stop on 5th Avenue. From there you can take a taxi or walk to our condo (it’s a 15-20 minutes walk).
- Order a car service round trip (this is our preferred way of transportation). We like Cancun Transfer . They charge $100 for a round trip to and from the airport.
- Our concierge service can also arrange for private transportation. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like this option.
Tips: Ignore all the transportation offers INSIDE the terminal. These are time sharing people and they can get really aggressive. Walk in the middle, look straight ahead and just ignore them.
Playa is a very safe and welcoming place, but as with all touristy places, it’s easy to be taken advantage of. There are certain cautions you should take just to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Here are our top tips on how NOT to get ripped off in Playa Del Carmen. You know what they said, it’s not the money, it’s the principle!
1) Check your bill at the restaurants. It’s not uncommon for restaurants to overcharge you or incorrectly priced an item. A tip of 15%-20% is customary, but make sure the restaurant did not include it already.
2) When filling up your gas at Pemex, be sure you count out your money and look at the attendant in the eyes when you give it to him. Bill switching is common, especially with tourists. Also make sure the meter is at 0 before they pump your gas.
3) The taxis ropers on 5th Avenue tend to be quite dishonest. They will charge you 3 or 4 times what it actually costs. Don’t get taxi from those guys and whenever you get into a taxis ask for the fare in advance. It’s not customary to tip taxi drivers.
4) Don’t use your credit card in clubs. It’s better to pay in cash.
5) Be careful with your credit card and keep all receipts.
6) The further you go off 5th Ave, the less expensive it is.
7) Don’t overtip. It sets up a precedent that’s not good for any body.